Steph Skardal Quilts

Steph Skardal Quilts


Aurifil Artisan Challenge: December 2021


It's time for another Aurifil Artisan challenge share, and the challenge is open for December this year! So, I wanted to take the time to share my mini that I've made for a fun quilt challenge.

With the support of Curated Quilts, the International Quilt Museum hosted a mini quilt challenge called Modern Meets Modern, to coincide with the opening of its amazing exhibition with the same name (Modern Meets Modern - the exhibit). I am *super* lucky enough to have a quilt hanging in this exhibit, with the recent acquisition of my quilt, "Going Up". For this particular challenge, the submission called for creating a 16"x16" mini inspired from one of four inspiration pieces. Hopefully, the result of this fun challenge is that there will be additional pieces that bridge modern quilts from the past to now.

Upon looking at the 4 inspiration pieces, I was immediately inspired by the Carpenter's Square piece in the inspiration collection, drawn in by the simplicity in two colors juxtaposed by the complexity in line work. I wanted to attempt to produce a piece as visually impacting as the original, also in using two colors, but with the use of new techniques and shapes.

To start, I sketched up a few ideas in Procreate on my tablet until I had a sketched plan, and then I brought it into a more precision based tablet software to work out scale. I then decided to go with 1/4" bias tape after I sorted out the design. I used my laser cutter to create laser cut acrylic circles matching so that I would have very precise tracing, at this point.

I laid out a larger than 16"x16" cut of Kona in acid lime and began sketching out the design on the fabric with a marking tool. I prepared Kona white strips, cut on the bias at 1/2" wide, and then used a bias tape maker to prepare the bias tape. I then glued the various circles down along the outlines, being careful to plan the intersection of two end points of a circle under another circle's path, because I wanted to minimize dealing with joining two endpoints.

Once I had all of my circle bias tape pieces glued on, I machine appliquéd the circles on with Aurifil 50wt thread in 2024 (white). I pulled the thread ends through to the back of the quilt top and tied each one off! And then once that was all set, I prepared the quilt top for quilting via pin basting, and at the same time needing to make a decision on quilting. I wanted to choose a simple quilting background that didn't detract from the complex overlapping elements, but matched in scale. I decided to go with horizontal quilting lines spaced at 1/4" to match the scale of the appliqué bias tape, and stitch near the ditch around the inner ovlapping sections. I quilted the piece with Aurifil 40wt thread in 2120 (canary).

I'm really pleased how this piece turned out. I've never machine appliquéd with bias tape before, having struggled with bias tape makers in the past, but it's a technique I expect will continue to influence my future designs - I can't wait to see where I can go with it!